The Boston Celtics were picked by many pundits recently to finish number two in the Eastern Conference behind the Miami Heat. The Boston Celtics I am sure could care less about the regular season win totals predictions or even their playoff predictions. The only goal on their minds is to fulfill the expectations that they have set and the expectation is to not only beat the team that sent them home after a grueling seven game series that went down to the last five minutes, but win an NBA title. Some will scoff at the notion that the older Celtics cannot possibly knock off their younger foe in Miami, but those people are dead wrong. Boston is poised after Boston Celtics President Danny Ainge’s amazing off season are poised to be able to knock the Heat off their perch as NBA champions.
The moves Ainge executed were subtle, but they were clearly designed to be able to matchup better with Miami this year than they have the last two seasons. The first order of business was to upgrade the supporting cast for stars Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Rajon Rondo. However, the cast had to be put inlace to better match up with Miami. The flaws from the roster that cost Boston last season were quickly fixed. Ainge in effect made a team that already matched up well against the Heat even better equipped to send them home come playoff time.
The first issue solved was scoring off the bench. Jason Terry was signed and this solves Boston’s problem of a go to guy off the bench that can get the team some points in hurry. The great shooting Terry will make disappear the team that had trouble finding an offensive option at times that led to Miami making big runs against the Celtics due to a lack of offensive punch. The team also should get more scoring from guys like Jeff Green, Courtney Lee, and even healthy Chris Wilcox. Green has a great shot and can score in the post. Lee is a solid shooter that can give Boston some mid to long range shooting. Wilcox is moves well without the ball in the post and had a great relationship with Rondo last season. The bottom line is Boston has guys with offensive potential and thus the scoring should be much better.
The other main issue was being able to guard the Heat’s stars. The Boston Celtics almost beat Miami with an injured Paul Pierce and Mickael Pietrus trying to guard the games best talent in LeBron James. Green has the length and and physical body to at least bother James and slow him down much better than an injured Pietrus could. Having a guy like Green during the regular season should also be able to help Boston cut down on Pierce’s minutes. This fact means Pierce should be able to avoid the usual knocks that cause him to be injured. this means Boston should have a combination that can at least slow James down to a normal star pace.
The Celtics also can bette defend Dwayne Wade now. Avery Bradley being back and healthy will go a long way in locking down Wade, but Boston has other options as well. Terry did an admirable job at times with Tyson Chandler backing him up in the paint in his NBA Finals win over Miami. KG being behind him will have the same effect on Terry’s defense. Lee is also guy with length and defensive skills that can bother Wade’s shot. Lee also has solid foot work that can help keep Wade out of the paint like Bradley can. If these men can lockdown Wade then Boston can double LeBron with help defense like they did during the regular season. This means the defense will have a lot more success than they did without Bradley in the playoffs.
Chris Bosh will be playing a lot of center this year like KG did. KG can more than lock him down, but it is good to know that Boston has other options that can bang with him. Jason Collins is a physical guy that can punish Bosh in the paint and wear him down. Chris Wilcox is athletic enough to handle covering Bosh in and out of the post and his lack of size is not that big of a deal on Bosh. this means Bosh should not have the impact he had last year with an injured Greg Stiemsma and a terrible Ryan Hollins covering him during stretches without KG on the floor.
The bottom line is Miami may win more regular season games than Boston. However, come playoff time Boston has all the tools to knock them out and restore the balance of power away from these product of David Stern’s corrupt officiating champions. Boston matches up very well against the Heat and if the injured bunch last year almost sent them home, plan on Boston’s new and improved team sending Miami an earlier than they like playoff exit. Ainge did his job and Boston is built to withstand the Heat. Remember Go Green Or Go Home!!!!!!